Checksheets are not checklists

Check Sheets

Definition:

A checksheet is a simple form that makes gathering data easier. They are different than checklists, that help us remember things. Simple and yet very useful, they can be used lots of ways to help make things run better. They are best used by the same person at the same location to keep things simple, and more compatible.

Benefits:

As they say, garbage-in garbage-out. The quality of your information depends on how you collect the data before you organize it. Checksheets help you organize the collecting of that data, giving you real, actionable, timely data to organize interpret and use to make things better.​ They can make things that seem really complicated, really easy.

Discussion:

Checksheets work well to collecting specific data, and provide consistency. Users custom design them to fit the needs of what must be measured. Well designed, just looking at them will show things you wouldn’t see otherwise.

Risks:

The wrong data is collected: ask yourself what you need to know, then what measure will give it to you. People collecting the data mess with it to fit their pre-conceptions and fears. What the data is and how it is to be measured needs to be clearly written, where it can be looked at each time data is collected. People forget then fill in data to not look bad.

Collecting data for its own sake is a waste: some things can’t be measured, but for those that can, use checksheets.

​GET YOUR FREE EXCEL CHECKSHEET TEMPLATE (just open in Numbers or Open Office and save as a template as well.

About the Author

Dan Strongin works with medium to small companies, helping them master the art and science of managing.